LNP Capitulates

For the last fifteen to twenty years Australia has been carpet bombed with hate and fear, ignorance, stupidity and prejudice by the obscene greed of Murdoch, the IPA, Howard, Abbott, Turnbull and the others who have sought to screw the poor to give to the rich as their sole objective. In spite of everything that has been thrown at the Australian peoples the penetration of the neo-lib ultra-greed has been low. Yes, there has been a rise in racial and ethnic hatred and vilification of the disadvantaged, we do have One Nation, but considering the amount of time, effort and money that has been poured into creating those conditions we should all now be living in the post-apocalyptic world of Mad Max. But we are still here. We have survived. The Libs are now copying Labour in an attempt to cling to power, but they have done too much harm for too long for too many for that to work.

Yesterday’s Claytons Labour budget was still a neo-lib budget with all its the hidden inequalities and unjustifiable aspects. Turnbull/Morrison still rely on fear, internal security and defence as the backbone of their budget, but have capitulated by finally accepting in a limited fashion that the Australian people have a voice that has to be listened to. Not a great budget, but it does mark the beginning of the end for the horrible little people that currently call themselves the government front bench.

It is not time to relax. Now, more than ever it is time to push for Australia to re-establish itself in the world as a fair and progressive country with a belief in equality for all. Time to close the unthinkable horror of concentration camps. Time to stop judging people by their gender, their belief system or what they wear on their heads. Time to treat the disadvantaged with dignity and respect, and to end poverty in what is one of the richest countries of the world. Time to bury the extreme right under the same rock as Azazel never to be seen again until the day of judgment. Time to tell Murdoch that he cannot buy Australia, and Australia will be around long after he is dead, buried and forgotten.

Abbott’s security laws a giant leap towards the Forth Reich.

Australia is in the same position as Germany was in the early 1930’s. We have a government creating fear and hate as an excuse for exchanging ‘Liberty” for ‘Personal Safety.’ This ignores that Liberty is the way to ensure personal safety. A free, educated compassionate society is the best way of combating radicalization.

What about the deliberate use of fear and hate by the Abbott government to radicalize the Australian people? Is one form of radicalization any less evil than another? We have an extreme right wing government using all the same tricks used by Hitler, Pinochet, Papa Doc and the other right wing dictators who high jacked democracy. We even have our own Ministry for Public Education and Propaganda run by Rupert Murdock copying the methodology and structure set up for Hitler by Joseph Goebbels.

Hitler started by blaming the socialists for everything and grabbed power by having the socialists banned from the German parliament. Abbot of course had Julia Gillard as the source of all that is evil and set out to destroy the Labour government. When blaming the socialist was no longer enough Hitler moved on to engendering hared and fear of the Jews to justify his strangulation of German democracy. Abbott has moved on to hatred and fear of Islam, which is no more justified than the hatred of Jews by Hitler. The rise of Hitler was considerably more dramatic than the antics of Abbott but the pattern is the same: a build up of hatred and fear to justify taking democracy away from the people.

The old story of learning from history or repeat it is terrifyingly true in Australia today. There are so many examples of how right wing politics highjack democracy that follow exactly the same pattern that is repeating itself in Australia, but still we go blindly down the path into the Fourth Reich. Do we learn nothing?

A Dangerous time for Labour

Bill Shorten has had a dream run. He and Labour have done an excellent job at doing nothing and letting Abbott self-destruct. In this role Shorten has proved himself to be an expert, but whether this is by design to take maximum advantage of Abbott’s death wish or natural talent coming to the fore is, at this stage, unknown.

After Tuesday, no matter what the outcome of the LNP (maybe) leadership spill Bill Shorten and the Labour party will have to start doing things. Things like developing policies that work and the people of Australia want. After a year and a bit of semi-silence from Labour the Australian people will want to know what the alternative to extreme right politics is.

Abbott needs to be Labour’s example of what not to do. I hope and expect that the Australian people have gone past voting for the junkyard dog because of it’s ability to destroy a government. Abbott may have shown that he can smash and destroy, and gain power through lies and half-truths but the junkyard dog was never going to convert to a warm fuzzy family friendly pet.

Labour needs to learn the lesson from this and understand that there is politics, and there is good government, but the two do not mix. Rudd and Abbott were both politically vicious and ruthless but never had what it took to govern for the people. The time is here for Labour to stop the politics and construct future policies for this country in unison with the people and for the people.

Good governance is not coming up with smart ideas and telling the people that is what must be done. Good governance is about listening to the people who elected them, (and those that didn’t), and finding the path that leads to fulfilling the peoples wants and needs in a sustainable manner. These wants and needs are not confined to self interest and personal gain but also who we want to be as a nation. Gross National Product is a very poor indicator of the health of a nation.

There are many people in Australia who deplore the Australian concentration camps at Manus Island and other places. No healthy country incarcerates a minority people without any charges being laid and leave them with no legal or human rights, or any hope of freedom. Presenting the slow murder of the soul as being the only alternative to dying at sea is a political expediency of the most vicious and cynical kind. There may be those who object to the term Concentration Camp but that is what Manus Island and the other ‘Offshore Processing Facilities’ are. Bill Shorten, please have the backbone to say out loud that Rudd led Labour along a path to hell when he reintroduced Howard’s inhumane policies. Bill Shorten, Rudd made a mistake and you need to fix it.

Rudd also totally messed up over climate change. Abbott’s ‘colourless odourless gas’ is destroying our habitat. One lesson that the human race is that when a species habitat is destroyed the species dies. We have caused the extinction of many species by destroying their habitat and the least we should have learned is that not combating global warming could have dire consequences for our future existence. There are those that seem to think that the human race, and Australians in particular have a divine presence that is not subject to nature, but they are mistaken. Australia as a land mass that is extremely vulnerable to climate change and we as a people may have to make radical changes to our life style and expectation for our future if we do not start making massive changes now to our attitude about climate change. It is probably too late to avoid the results of climate change but whether this means a bit of fender bending or being dead on arrival depends entirely on our nation being willing and able to act now to avoid the worst of outcomes.

If Labour does not address the real issues of past decisions and change the direction of many of its past policies someone like Malcolm Turnball or Julie Bishop will tear them apart at the next election. They might get lucky and have Scott Morrison continue the downward spiral of the far right into oblivion started but Abbott but it would be a mistake to rely on dumb luck to get Labour through the next eighteen months.

It is time for Labour to stop playing politics, admit past errors and develop clear and inclusive policies for the future well being of both the individual and the country. The big question is ‘are Bill Shorten and the Labour Party up to it?’

Soulless Economics 101

Van Dormael (1978: 32) quotes the British Economist John Maynard Keynes in 1941 as saying

‘the secular international problem‘ of maintaining equilibrium in the balance of payments – a problem that ‘had that had never been solved since methods of barter had given way gave way to money and bills of exchange.’

(and)

‘To suppose that there is some smoothly functioning automatic mechanism of adjustment which preserves equilibrium if only we trust to methods of Laissez-faire is a doctrinaire delusion which disregards the lessons of historical experience without the support of sound theory.’

Basically the problem with economics is that there is no way of establishing a rate of exchange. What is fair and what is unjust? Who knows? The only alternative seems to be no rules and that as been a disaster. This leaves a situation where human attributes (or lack of them) determine economic policies and outcomes. If the object is create a society that has a soul and acts humanly towards all its peoples then human qualities such as empathy and compassion have to be the guiding principle of economic decision making. If screwing the poor to give to Rupert Murdoch is the aim then Joe Hockey is the man for the job, but don’t suggest for one moment that there is any empathy, compassion or soul involved in Hockey’s policies.

Presenting spending years of mental and physical suffering in a squalid concentration camp with no charges laid and no prospect of release as being the only alternative of crossing the seas in a leaky boat is the act of a totally soulless country. How can a country that rushes to war in a foreign country at the slightest excuse, and without being asked but refuses to give significant aid to help stop Ebola until being forced to by universal condemnation from the rest off the world say it has a soul.

I used to like Australia when it had a soul, the days before Abbott became leader of what used to be the Liberal Party. The days before Kevin Rudd sent refugees of to concentration camps. But those days are gone. Can those days be revived?

The simple answer would be to bury Abbott and his whole front bench down the same hole as Azazel never to be seen again until judgement day, but that would be too simplistic. The problem is that if a despot is deposed what happens then? Is there any alternative? Sadly in Australia at this time I don’t see any viable alternative. Bill shorten seems a reasonable sort of fellow but he is no match for Abbott and he leads a party that has lost it’s soul. A beginning for labour would be to accept that Rudd’s refugee policy was a political move that failed and that it was also inhuman. If Labour reversed its refugee stance and supported speedy onshore process and humane treatment of all peoples it would be a beginning. A little bit of soul is better than no soul. Bill Shorten moving aside for Tanya Plibersek would be a major step forward. Tanya is a lady who seems to have empathy and compassion as well as the ability to stand up to Abbott.

With only about eighteen months to the next election we need to begin rebuilding Australia’s soul now because if the extreme right of the Murdoch/Abbott government becomes entrenched Australia’s soul could pass beyond revival.

Reference

Van Dormael, Armand. 1978. Bretton Woods: Birth of a Monetary System. United Kingdom: Holmes &; Meier Publishers.

Does Manus Island equal crimes against humanity?

Morrison’s “We do not comment on operational matters” is code for “some bastard is doing something we don’t want you to know about.” Morrison will claim it is the people smuggles that he does want to know what is happening, but that is not true. Morrison does not want the Australian public to know what is happening. The reports coming out of the Manus Island detention centre raises many questions about the treatment of asylum seekers in the care of Australia. It would be unfair to suggest that the reports are all true in total or part, but the lack of transparency and lack of information from the Australian government does suggest that there is a major cover-up taking place.

Did the asylum seekers who broke out of the detention centre do so in order to escape marauding PNG police that were allowed into the centre by the Australian guards? Were the injuries sustained by the asylum seekers a result of attacks by PNG authorities and/or Australian guards rather than the result of authorities defending themselves? What were the circumstances that resulted in the death of the deceased Iranian detainee? Do Australia’s actions at Manus island equal, as many overseas sources including China suggest, constitute civil rights abuses?

It is the duty of everyone who wants to know what is really happening at Manus Island to speak up and demand to be told. Anyone sees what is happening and does or says nothing is as guilty of any atrocities that are taking place in our name as those who are perpetrating those atrocities. I cannot say that any atrocities are taking place, I can say that Morrison and the Abbot government are taking extraordinary steps to make certain that the Australian public does not find out. Does Manus Island equal crimes against humanity? I have no idea, but I can say Morrison is making certain that it is impossible for the Australian pubic to find out. That alone makes me think that overseas sources know more that the Australian public about the true conditions on Manus Island, and overseas sources suggest that the Australian government has many questions that need answering in full now.

Not everything is political.

Allegations of corruption in the building industry have been used by Barry O’Farrell to push for the reestablishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission. Corruption is not a political issue it is simply unacceptable. For this reason any watchdog legislation needs to be removed from the political arena.

Trade unions are also not legitimate political entities. They are about safety and fairness in the workplace. There is nothing inherently political in that. Any person in the workplace, no matter what their political affiliations need the right to join organizations that look after their interests within the workplace.

We have unfortunately reached a position where everything is now political. Trade unions are political so they cannot do what they are supposed to do, promote safety and fairness for their members. Global warming has become a political issue so we are paralysed by conflict while our planet burns. Refugees is a political issue so instead of providing help and assistances to the most vulnerable of our world’s peoples we throw them into concentrations camps for indeterminate periods and treat them in the most disgusting manner.

Politics has ceased to be about what is best for the country. The “Honourable Members’ who are to supposed represent their electorate use their position in a grubby, slimy and totally unhonourable fight for power. Once they have power self interest becomes the only guiding principle.

Democracy demands that we understand what is political and what is not. Some issues are simply about humanity. Democracy also demands constant maintenance. Our democracy is overdue for a major service but that is not going to happen unless we demand it.

Australia’s Fascist Government

There are several characteristics of a Fascist government. Two of them are using military forces to control civilians. Another is censorship. The using of the Navy to tow boats carrying refugees back to the edges of Indonesian territorial waters and then censoring any news of the event should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that Australia now has a Fascist Government. Why are so many Australian’s too polite to say so?

If we are to have democracy we must be prepared to speak out against totalitarian governments. I am not anti-Liberal, but Abbott does not lead a Liberal government; he leads a Fascist government.

If a government is elected democratically there is no complaint whoever wins the election, but when a government is elected on false propaganda generated by a biased monopoly media it is not democracy. It is time for all Australians who believe in democracy, whether Labour, Liberal, Green or free thinking in their political leanings to speak out and say ‘no’ to Fascism in Australia.

The Murdoch/Abbott government will fall. Dictatorships always do in the end. The question is ‘How much damage will this government do before it goes down in flames?’ Can we please try to make the Murdoch/Abbott fall as soon and as complete as possible?

Is Abbott now going to target disaster Victims?

How sick is it to target bush fire, flood and other victims of natural disasters via the productivity commission? The productivity commission has become Abbott’s hit squad.

There are many things where the commercial concept of productivity does not apply. If compassion and empathy count for nothing no disaster aid is productive.

Just when I think it is impossible for Abbott to go any lower he finds away. We have stuck refugees away out of site in concentration camps in foreign lands. We have ‘liberated’ Holden workers from the yoke of the nasty General Motors multinational. We have condemned to Australians to being uneducated Hill Billys living an internet backwater. And now Abbott not only wants to repeal the little we are doing to combat the environmental disaster called climate change but also wants to deny humanitarian help to potential victims.

This man is sick.

Is Abbott on a Mission from God?

This is a comment on my blog Abbott and Santamaria that needed more prominence than the comments section.

Yosef, I’m afraid that yes, we do forget the lessons of history very quickly. And yes, you have every reason to be afraid of his economics and his politics. I strongly suspect that Tony is on ‘a mission from God.’ Why else would he use the expression ‘act of contrition’ after meeting with Malaysian leaders, or ‘the government is on the side of the angels’ after refusing to stop GMH  from leaving the country? I think that Tony honestly believes that God is a neo-liberal and that he’s been put on earth to carry out God’s work.

This is not the first time such lunatics have caused social dislocation on a massive scale. In China, during the 1850s, a gentleman who claimed to be the brother of Jesus started the T’ai Ping Rebellion and literally millions died as a result. ‘Sam Collinson’ (Hung Hsiu-ch’aun) believed that he was creating  ‘Dai-ping, Dai-guo’, a Kingdom of Heavenly Peace. Hung was barking mad of course but then again insanity has never been an impediment to entering politics (Hitler, Stalin, Mao). I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if Abbott feels that he’s creating his own ‘kingdom of heavenly peace.’ With a little help from George Pell (spiritual adviser) and Rupert Murdoch ( Ministry of Information).

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